The federal Health Resources and Services Administration released its newly updated national fact sheet on home visiting. In addition to providing perspective on what is going on across the country, the fact sheet highlighted the excellent work Arizona home visitors are doing to help address maternal depression.
Specifically, the fact sheet notes that untreated maternal depression has been associated with adverse birth outcomes as well as negative parenting behaviors. To that end, “The Federal Home Visiting program is committed to supporting mothers who experience depression by screening and providing support, resources and referrals as needed.” It goes on to state that Arizona was one of only 12 grantees who reported screening rates of 95 percent or higher.
In fact in Arizona, “97 percent of mothers were screened for maternal depression within the first six months postpartum.”
As home visitors you know how you can often be the first, or only, connection to potential support a new mom needs in those critical first few months. One resource you can connect families to is the Arizona Postpartum Wellness Coalition’s warm line, 1-88-434-MOMS (6667). While this is not an emergency response system or hotline, families can receive phone support related to pregnancy and postpartum emotional adjustment seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. and if a message is left, calls are returned daily.
And, remember you can always refer families to the Strong Families AZ website, Community Services and Supports tab to locate a variety of family resources, searchable by county.